Tell us a little bit about the history of Docking Market
Docking Market was founded by local resident Ian Dumphreys who came up with the idea after attending a heritage day in 2011 and noticed the amount of local business’s that had disappeared over the years that used to service the village.
Ian started Docking Market on the 25 April 2012 , and was probably the worst day in history regarding the weather with non stop rain and cold winds, needless to say it did not bring much footfall to the market that day. However we did have a nice surprise visit from Helen Mcdermott and Graham Barnard from BBC Radio Norfolk who gave the Market a good airing on the Nick Conrad Show the following week which helped with visitors to the market and with local support from surrounding villages and towns the market is growing from strength to strength.
For local residents and tourists who haven't been to Docking Market before describe what they can expect to find?
A friendly atmosphere giving the customer an opportunity to talk to the people who make or grow what they sell, and evidence of the pride and knowledge in their products. Our customers visit for their weekly groceries, gifts and meeting in the Annex Cafe with friends for tea/coffee and a chat.
Our stallholders include a baker, fishmonger, a butcher, beef and fruit and vegetable farmers, cheese, preserves, cakes, vegetarian dishes and a supplier and producer of French and North African ingredients. You can also give your pet its creature comforts.
Alongside the food market are our crafts, with jewellery, paper craft, art, pottery, textile gifts, scarves, etc, and soft furnishings.
During the spring and summer months we have a local nurseryman who joins us with beautiful plants. The market gives a more personal shopping experience then shopping in supermarkets. You can expect Fresh, locally produced ingredients for your weeks shopping.
How does the Market work alongside local businesses as well as local Farmers?
Docking has a large village shop that is well stocked for most of the village and surrounding village’s needs they also are competitive on price with the major supermarkets, with the fresh produce from the market and the convenience of the shop they work well together. Only being once a week, we supplement the local shop. Local farmers have their own direct outlets or supply those.
If somebody is interested in exhibiting at the Market what is the criteria and how much does it cost for a pitch?
Their products are discussed, though only being a small market we do look at the impact on our present stallholders. We do have some stallholders who prefer to come once a fortnight, and those we alternate with someone who makes and sells similar items if possible. A pitch is £10 inside and £15 outside at present.
What makes Docking the ideal place to hold the Market?
Docking is a large village with a school, pub and still has a shop. With a vibrant tourist trade itself, it is also not far from the coast and holiday makers there. With several groups using the village hall, the Heritage Group also meets on Wednesday mornings and we have both benefited from this association.
Is there one type of stall that isn't currently represented at the Market that you would like to see exhibiting in the future?
We feel that Docking Market would benefit from having a deli stall that could provide array of cold meats, coleslaws, potato salads, cheeses etc.
What makes Norfolk such a leading County for local produce and products Markets and how do you envisage these growing further over the next few years?
People who live and work here care about their county. They support local businesses, wanting to see independence grow. It's not just the individual who supports, but businesses supporting each other too. It's a county which inspires!
For the future I can only see this growing, people understanding where their goods come from and the impact on their immediate environment of long distance buying.
For someone who is thinking of exhibiting their produce or products at the Market what advice would you give them?
Come and talk to us, see what we have and do.
How does the Market change from month to month i.e is there a significant increase in footfall over the summer months or is it predominately supported by regular local residents?
Because of the location of the market holiday makers do have an impact on the footfall, but we have return customers within those too now. We see regulars every week...
If you could have anyone come and declare one of the Markets open who would it be and why?
Delia Smith, because despite not being born in Norfolk she is a great ambassador for it and being a chef she will appreciate the benefits of eating fresh and buying local.
For more details of Docking Market please visitwww.dockingmarket.com